Mikhail Pletnev

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Mikhail Pletnev
Михаи́л Васи́льевич Плетнёв
Mikhail Pletnev 2007.jpg
Background information
Born (1957-04-14) 14 April 1957 (age 65)
GenresClassical music
Occupation(s)Pianist, conductor, composer
LabelsDeutsche Grammophon, Pentatone, Virgin Classics

Mikhail Vasilievich Pletnev (Russian: Михаи́л Васи́льевич Плетнёв, Mikha'il Vas'ilevič Plet'nëv; born 14 April 1957) is a Russian pianist, conductor and composer.

Life and career[edit]

Pletnev was born into a musical family in Arkhangelsk, then part of the Soviet Union. His father played and taught the bayan, and his mother was a pianist.[1][2] He studied with Kira Shashkina for six years at the Special Music School of the Kazan Conservatory,[3] before entering the Moscow Central Music School at the age of 13, where he studied under Evgeny Timakin. In 1974, he entered the Moscow Conservatory, studying under Yakov Flier and Lev Vlassenko. At age 21, he won the Gold Medal at the VI International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1978, which earned him international recognition and drew great attention worldwide.[4] The following year he made his debut in the United States. He also taught at the Moscow Conservatory. Pletnev has acknowledged Sergei Rachmaninoff as a particularly notable influence on him as a musician.[5][6]

Pletnev conducting, 2017

In 1988, Pletnev was invited to perform at the superpower conference in Washington, D.C., where he met and befriended Mikhail Gorbachev. From this friendship, he gained the support to found two years later the Russian National Orchestra in 1990, the first non-government-supported orchestra in Russia since 1917, and became its first principal conductor. He and the orchestra made their recording debut on Virgin Classics, releasing Tchaikovsky's Sixth Symphony and Marche Slave in 1991. He stepped down as Principal Conductor in the late 1990s, but remained the orchestra's artistic director.[7]

Pletnev has made a number of recordings with Deutsche Grammophon. His recordings are mostly of Russian works, though in 2007 he recorded the complete Beethoven symphonies. The first works he recorded were for orchestra, including Tchaikovsky's The Sleeping Beauty, his Sixth Symphony and Manfred Symphony, and Rachmaninoff's Second and Third Symphonies. Pletnev's recording of Tchaikovsky's First Symphony (Winter Daydreams) received critical acclaim.[8]

In July 2010, Pletnev, a resident of Thailand, was arrested by Thai authorities in connection with allegations of child molestation.[9] Pletnev, who was released on bail, denied the charges.[10] He cancelled appearances at the BBC Proms and the Edinburgh International Festival in order to prepare his defense,[11] but the charges were dropped on 28 September.[12]

Awards and recognitions[edit]

Notable compositions[edit]


Honours and awards[edit]

  • Lenin Komsomol Prize (1978) – for high performance skills
  • Glinka State Prize of the RSFSR (1982) – for concert programs (1978–1981)
  • Russian Federation State Prize in Literature and Art:
    • 7 December 1993 – for concert programs of the Russian National Symphony Orchestra in recent years
    • 27 May 1996 – for the creation and execution of the Jubilee Music Festival "Alfred Schnittke Festival" (1994, Moscow), Third and Fourth Symphonies, the Concerto for Viola and Orchestra, Concert number 2 for Cello and Orchestra, Concerto Grosso № 5, three spiritual choruses ("Hail Mary Hail," "Jesus Christ" "Our Father"), the cantata "The History of Dr. Johann Faust,"
    • 9 June 2006 – for outstanding technical skill and innovation in the field of musical art, which opened a new chapter in national and world culture
  • Order of Merit for the Fatherland;
  • Prize of the President of the Russian Federation in the field of art and literature in 2001 (30 January 2002)
  • 47th Grammy Awards (2005) – best chamber music performance

Selected discography[edit]


  1. ^ Fanning, David. "Pletnev, Mikhail." Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. 2001.
  2. ^ Michael White (2003-03-16). "It's All a Game, and Only He Knows the Rules". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-11-22.
  3. ^ "Biography of K.A. Shashkina on the website of the Moscow Central Music School" (in Russian). Archived from the original on 2018-09-28. Retrieved 2018-04-24.
  4. ^ Jean-Pierre Thiollet, 88 notes pour piano solo, "Solo nec plus ultra", Neva Editions, 2015, p.51. ISBN 978 2 3505 5192 0.
  5. ^ Greene, Lynnda. "Beyond Borders" in International Piano Magazine November / December 2003 "International Piano Magazine, Nov 2003 | Russian National Orchestra". Archived from the original on 2012-03-26. Retrieved 2011-12-07.
  6. ^ Martin Kettle (2003-11-07). "A man and his music". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-12-21.
  7. ^ Geoffrey Norris (2004-03-22). "Maestro miseryguts". Telegraph. Retrieved 2014-12-21.
  8. ^ Service, Tom (January 28, 2014). "Symphony guide: Tchaikovsky's First" – via www.theguardian.com.
  9. ^ Tom Parfitt (2010-07-07). "Mikhail Pletnev charged with child molestation in Thailand". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-12-21.
  10. ^ "Russian Pianist Mikhail Pletnev Charged with Raping Teen Boy in Thailand". Pravda. 2010-07-07. Retrieved 2014-12-21.
  11. ^ Helen Pidd (2010-08-05). "Conductor accused of child molestation pulls out of UK concerts". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-12-21.
  12. ^ Higgins, Charlotte (3 December 2010). "Child molestation investigation against Russian classical musician dropped". The Guardian. London.

Further reading[edit]

  • Ludmila Kokoreva: Michail Pletnyov. Moskau 2003, ISBN 5-85285-748-3 (Russian)
  • Lora Tokareva: Muzykal'nye Otkrytiya Mikhaila Pletneva. Etudy Nabroski Interview, Moskau 2009, ISBN 978-5-206-00747-3 (Russian)

External links[edit]